JEDDAH: Empowerment of Saudi Arabia’s women held the key to social and economic prosperity in the Kingdom, an international research conference has been told.
In a keynote address to the conference, Prof. Khawla Al-Kuraya, a doctor and scientist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said: “Saudi Arabia is experiencing a transformation that no other country has ever managed to pull off in such a short period of time.
“Vision 2030 is a strategic road map guiding the country toward participation in a global knowledge-based economy that engages a massive youth demographic and also empowers women.”
Al-Kuraya was speaking on Wednesday during the conference, titled “Building the future: Vibrant society, thriving economy and happy people,” at Dar Al-Hekma University.
Suhair Hasan Al-Qurashi, president of the university, said: “The conference highlights issues that are timely and significant for Saudi Arabia and beyond, and are particular relevant for the future generation.”
The conference included parallel sessions on law, art and design, business and entrepreneurship, and urban and social development.
Abed Elrehim Alkashif, of Egypt’s Ministry of Justice, discussed the role of judges in achieving justice.
“A bad law can be corrected by a good lawyer and judge, while a good law can be ruined by a bad lawyer and judge,” he told the conference.
Samah Alagha, an assistant professor at Dar Al-Hekma University, said: “We are happy to see an increase in the allowance of Saudi women to become lawyers, but still there are no Saudi female judges.
“According to all the positive changes of Vision 2030, let’s hope we have a Saudi female judge soon.”
Rajaa Alqahtani, of the Department of Sociology and Social Work at King Abdul Aziz University, told Arab News: “We consider the royal decree of allowing women in Saudi Arabia to drive as a historical shift for the Saudi woman, which accordingly equals the decision of allowing females to go to schools in Saudi Arabia back in 1960.
“We can see that the religious speech has decreased in the past three years, so society has became more open and can accept more freedom,” she said.
Dr. Sherin Sameh, assistant professor, architecture, at Dar Al-Hekma University, presented a paper entitled “The City of Neom: Paving the Road for the Future of Sustainable Development in Saudi Arabia.”
She told Arab News: “Vision 2030 is showing the way toward the sustainable development goals of the Kingdom.”
She said: “My study looks at the city of Neom and how it can become a hub for information technology and renewable energy.”